(SportsNetwork.com) – The Arizona Coyotes will try to snap their longest home
losing streak in franchise history on Thursday night as they take on Mike
Ribeiro and the Nashville Predators.
In dropping the first two of a five-game homestand, the Coyotes are 0-5-2 in
their past seven at Gila River Arena. That is the longest home skid in
franchise history, even dating back to the club’s time as the original
The Coyotes lost 5-2 to the Boston Bruins on Saturday, getting goals from
Mikkel Boedker and Joe Vitale in the club’s third straight loss and sixth in
Devan Dubnyk was tagged for four goals on 24 shots while Mike Smith stopped 8-
of-9 in relief.
“We need our goaltenders to clean up a little more,” said Arizona head coach
Dave Tippett, whose club will try to avoid its first four-game slide of the
Smith has posted a 3.27 goals against average and .890 save percentage in 21
games with 20 starts this season, while Dubnyk has logged a 2.74 GAA and .918
save percentage in 10 games with eight starts.
Smith may get the start tonight and is 3-4-1 in his career versus Nashville
with a 2.79 GAA and .898 save percentage.
Arizona may also get forward David Moss in the lineup for the first time since
he suffered an upper-body injury on Oct. 23 versus Minnesota. He has missed
the past 22 games.
Tonight will mark Ribeiro’s return to Arizona, where he spent one forgettable
season in 2013-14. The Coyotes signed him to a four-year deal after he posted
49 points in 48 games with Washington, but Ribeiro had just 16 goals and 47
points in 80 games with the Coyotes.
Ribeiro had the final three year’s of his contract bought out and Arizona’s
front office even took some parting shots at him following the release.
“I think I mainly (feel) regret, that I couldn’t help them in the way that I
wanted,” Ribeiro said on Nashville’s website. “I know there’s some resentment
toward me because I let some people down that believed in me, and I kind of
hurt them by doing that. But it’s in the past now; I moved forward from that.
But to come back, it’s pretty weird.”
Ribeiro leads the Predators with 16 assists and is second on the club with 24
points. He had a goal and an assist in Nashville’s 4-3 shootout win at home
over Arizona on Oct. 21.
The Preds have won three straight over the Coyotes.
Nashville avoided its first two-game slide of the season with Tuesday’s 3-0
win over the Colorado Avalanche. Filip Forsberg scored on a breakaway 2:23
into the game and Pekka Rinne made 26 saves for his third shutout of the
season and 35th of his career.
“I don’t think I have any more words to use for him,” said Forsberg of Rinne.
“It’s unbelievable. He kept us in the game, especially in the second period
when they kind of took over. He was huge for us and I’m very happy to have him
on our team.”
James Neal and Gabriel Bourque added empty-net goals in Nashville’s sixth
victory in eight games, while Ribeiro had a pair of assists.
One negative was forward Paul Gaustad exiting early in the first period with a
lower-body injury that has him day-to-day.
Rinne has logged six shutouts in his career versus Arizona, going 11-6-1 with
a 2.11 GAA and .927 save percentage as well.